Hunters say Cougar Dome important for Colchester youth
TRURO – The decision to donate to the Cougar Dome project was a no-brainer for Jol and Maura Hunter.
The Hunter family of Lower Harmony recently made a financial contribution to the Cougar Dome project and visited the site on Wednesday. Scott Annand, left, who has been spearheading the project, gave Maura Hunter, her husband Jol and son Matthew a tour. Matthew Veno – Truro Daily News
The Lower Harmony couple, parents of five athletically gifted children, know first-hand the benefits such a place can bring to Colchester County.
“The community has had an incredible role in helping to raise our kids,” Maura said Wednesday while standing inside the 50,000 square-foot structure. “It’s provided them all sorts of opportunities, which have enabled them to excel and participate in a variety of events and we want that same opportunity to be available to other families.”
So the family wanted to give back and made a confidential financial contribution.
The dome, which was inflated over the weekend, is an indoor athletic complex consisting of six tennis courts, a three-lane synthetic running track and 16,000 square feet of artificial turf, which can be moved or increased in size. It will also include track and field jumping pits and a 12-bay golf range and provide Colchester athletes with a place to train all year round.
About $1.3-million of the $2.2-million price tag has been raised.
Scott Annand, who has been spearheading the project, said he was thrilled to learn the Hunters wanted to help.
“I ran the idea by them and from that time on they have been huge supporters in my corner for this, and this is evidence of that,” Annand said. “This is what makes our community special and why we want to raise our kids here and make a healthier community and this is a huge step toward that.”
Jol and Maura’s son Matthew, 25, is a wildly successful Special Olympics swimmer who has represented Canada on the world stage on several occasions. His younger brother Sandy, 22, is an accomplished soccer player who competed in the NCAA Div. 1 ranks with Iona College in New York.
The couple’s daughter, Emily, 20, now suits up with the Mount Allison Mounties women’s soccer squad and their youngest son Charlie,18, is a current member of the Cobequid Cougars and will be travelling to the national club championships next week in Newfoundland with Halifax City.
Their oldest daughter, Sarah, 28, played basketball and soccer, among other extracurricular activities.
“It’s taught them all sorts of skills, discipline, organization, time management and those skills will be with them now no matter what they do,” Maura said. “And from the opportunities they were presented with in this community have come other opportunities for them as they’ve gone on to leave Truro.”
The Hunters said they felt it was also important to donate to the project to allow people like Annand to focus on mentoring the next generation instead of using all their energy on getting the project up and running.
“We want leaders like Scott to know that what they’re doing for the youth of this community is of a value that can’t be measured,” Maura said.
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